ATLANTA (AP) -The up-and-down
New York Mets
are on a wild ride through September. Just when everyone thought they were headed for another collapse, they've won three
straight to move back into first place.
delivered a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and the Mets regained the NL East lead Friday night by beating the
hit a leadoff homer and had three hits to help the Mets move a half-game in front of Philadelphia, which lost 14-8 at Florida.
''Now, we start with another magic number. It's our magic number time,'' manager
said with a hearty laugh.
Reyes also scored three runs and drove in two.
ended a 1-for-19 drought by going 2-for-5 with two RBIs, and
added a solo homer.
New York overcame some shaky defense and improved to 1-6 this season at Turner Field, where the Phillies went 9-0.
''I guess we were due,'' Manuel said.
New York is 7-9 overall against the Braves, who have lost four straight.
Last season, the Mets blew a seven-game NL East lead with 17 to play and missed the playoffs as the Phillies charged to the
division title. With 17 games remaining this year, New York had a 3 1/2-game edge. Then it lost four of five and dropped into
But the Mets have rebounded with three consecutive road wins, and Murphy was a big part of this one.
Called up from the minors Aug. 2, Murphy is hitting .374 with two homers and 16 RBIs. He is 14-for-30 (.467) in September.
''Murphy's been huge for us all season. We've got to find a way to get him to the plate,'' Manuel said. ''You've got to manage
to get him a shot. You know he's good whether they throw a lefty or righty.''
The Mets batted around in the eighth and scored four times, including three unearned runs.
led off with a single against
sacrificed and was safe at first when second baseman
dropped the throw for an error.
struck out, but Murphy hit a drive to left-center on the first pitch, scoring both runners for a 7-5 lead.
''I was looking for a sinker or slider and got a slider over the plate,'' he said.
As he stood on second base, Murphy said he felt ''excitement and exhilarated all in one. I was happy to help my team win.''
Murphy was nearly picked off, but the Braves botched the rundown and he remained at second base. After
grounded out, Reyes followed with an RBI single,
singled and Wright drove in the final run with a single.
The Braves tied it at 5 in the seventh with an unearned run, helped by a pair of errors.
led off against reliever
and reached on a throwing error by Reyes at shortstop.
singled to right, sending Jones to third and when the ball went under Church's glove for an error, Jones scored and Prado
went to second.
Three Mets relievers followed in the inning and managed to end the scoring.
got the big out, striking out
with runners on first and third and one out.
(3-4) got the third out for the win.
The Mets took a 4-2 lead with three runs in the third on RBI doubles by Wright and
and a run-scoring single by Delgado. During the inning, Mets fans among the crowd of 42,803 chanted ''Let's Go Mets!''
The Braves scored two runs in the second, helped by Wright's error at third base.
With runners on first and third and two outs,
beat out a run-scoring single to third and another run scored on Wright's wild throw to first. The Braves got to 4-3 in the
third on a run-scoring double by Infante off starter
Perez went six innings. He gave up four runs - three earned - and six hits.
''It's not easy to play catch-up against guys like Perez. But we managed to do it,'' Atlanta manager
Braves starter Jo-Jo Reyes lasted 3 1-3 innings. He gave up seven hits and five runs.
''Jo-Jo didn't get the job done. It's as simple as that,'' Cox said.
Notes:The leadoff homer by Reyes was his third of the season and the 14th of his career. It also was his 50th first-inning
hit, a club record. He held the previous mark of 49 in 2006. ... Mets RHP
(shoulder), who went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 24, will throw to batters Saturday. ... Atlanta 3B
had reached base safely in 41 straight games before going 0-for-3. He left with a sore right shoulder after being called out
on strikes in the fifth. The shoulder had been bothering him recently. He is day-to-day. ... Johnson had a bunt single to
extend his hitting streak to 17 games.